25 February 2017

Last year I wrote a post with my goals for first time in my life. It was something new and I must say I’ve read it many times to see how things are going. It has been a good experience and I want to repeat it this year.

2016 year has been, in the professional aspect, the best year of my life. Probably also in the personal aspect with a new kid. I’m not going to speak too much about the last year, it was just great for me. I’ve achieved some of the goals, failed in others, and there was new ones… That’s the life.

Beginning of 2017 has been very stormy, even hard. Lots of problems, work and changes. That’s the reason I’ve waited so much to write this blog post. The good point when things are difficult is you are going to learn a lot. I have discovered things about my environment and myself which I’ve never thought about before.

The first thing I’ve discovered is the engineers “ego problem”. When you are fighting hard to make a project success, when you solve difficult problems, when you have to make your customers understand the consequences of their decisions or you are training younger engineers… Slowly but relentless the ego problem is growing on you. And let’s make this clear: I’m guilty. My motto always was: “No project where I work can’t fail”. Now I understand how wrong I was. Project can be a huge success for the customer, but a big fail for your company or the team because the lost of trustiness or the casualties.. And now I know I had some failed projects in my life.

Other good sign of this is my proposals for the last year. All of them are about me. Again, the ego problem. The reason was my fear to be out of the IT jobs market. Be without a project or a salary really scares me. I think this is irrational, I have a B plan just in case I loose my job and I wasn’t able to find a new one. Also I’m receiving job offers every week, some of them really good ones (that does not help with the ego problem either). Probably it’s more related to spend days without to do something useful and because I feel lucky to do what I do.

I deserve a punishment and 2017 will be the year to start with it.

First goal: repeat every morning in front of the mirror “Be humble” three times. If in some point of the day I fail on that, I will go to the involved person and I will ask for forgiveness. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small fail or the involved person is a jerk, I will do it anyway.

Second goal: make the company where I work a better place to work. This means stop claiming and start to actively work in the solution to solve the problems I’m claiming about. Let’s make this clear: companies must earn money. But at the same time, employees must be feel involved, happy and positive. Both things are related. I’m not sure how to do this or the real impact which I can have with my actions in a big company. I’m just one, I’m not a superhero and the company where I work is good but not perfect, there is always room for improvement. It doesn’t matter my role, I will just try to do as much as possible. Also I want to focus in the youngest engineers. In my opinion senior engineers should be more involved in professional evolution of the younger ones and I want to lead by example on that.

Third goal: return something to your local community. I can’t believe this is a goal I have when I’m 36 years old. Start so late on this is probably the biggest failure in my career. It was even more clear to me after an event last week for students. Two of the speakers made great points on the importance of contribute to your local community. I admire those two guys. I don’t pretend to be like them but at least I want to do something. Start the VigoJUG is a beginning. I hope to find other ways to contribute during the year. If you are reading this and you have any idea, please, let me know.

The last goal isn’t really a goal but a fear. Yesterday a fellow said I’m a Project Manager. It has been very painful for me because I realize he was partially right and I don’t want that role anymore.

Dilbert Has Management Potential

Last year I’ve been developing a lot but 2017 has been crazy and I’ve been more focused in solve problems and get things done… So my technical work has been reduced to Pull Request reviews and some time developing in the weekend. Rest of the time: mails, phone calls, write documents and meetings. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life doing only those things. I know they are useful and they are the way to achieve the goals I’ve described before. But I’ve spent 20 years of my life dealing with computers, I’ve trained myself to learn vim shortcuts, researching how to write clean code, use the command shell, etc. and I don’t want to loose that. It makes me feel happy and full. If I don’t do it, I will end being sad and frustrated, so I have to found a way to conciliate both things. Any advise will be welcomed.

I want to finish this post asking for forgiveness. Specially during my time in Accenture I did a lot of wrong things. Not even close but I pushed too hard some times in Optare. If I did something which has troubled you, I’m very sorry. I promise: I will be humble, I will be humble, I will be humble.